MRT 3 to acquire more train coaches

by Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Feb 13 2013 05:30 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2013 01:30 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Transportation Department is set to publish rules on the procurement of 48 new coaches for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), to expand the system's capacity.

"We are publishing soon the procurement of 48 new coaches," Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said during the Philippine Economic Briefing.

"Procurement will take four to six months and manufacturing will take one and a half to two years," he continued.

The new train coaches are expected to boost the capacity of the MRT, which carries about 500,000 passengers a day despite its load limit of 350,000 daily.

But aside from buying new train coaches, Abaya related the government is also looking at the option of buying second-hand trains from Spain.

"A small team of three will be departing on Feb. 20 to check with Metro de Madrid. We want to check if the trains will be compatible and if the timing will still be shorter than an outright purchase," Abaya said.

The Transportation Department has set aside P4.5 billion for the purchase of 48 new train coaches.